Vaporesso Armour Max Kit
Supplied by Vaporesso for review
Vaporesso have gone a bit crazy and I like it! The all new Armour Max has been the biggest surprise release I can recall from Vaporesso, this kit is extraordinary and is a real treat for proper sub-ohm DL users. I haven’t enjoyed a kit this much for yonks, read on to find out why I’m in love with it.
- TANK Capacity: 8ml (2ml TPD)
- Coil Resistance: GTi 0.2Ω MESH Coil (60-75W) - GTi 0.4Ω MESH Coil (50-60W)
- Battery Capacity: 2 x 21700 or 2 x 18650 Battery (Not Included)
- Output Power: 5-220W
- Charging Current: DC 5V/2A, Type-C
- Display: 0.96” TFT Screen
- Dimensions: 157mm x 56.5mm x 34mm
- Armoured Protection – All-round TPU Protection
*Note – I was sent the review pack which contained a few extras, I’m not sure if this version will be available at retail but I really hope so, I’m sure the extras will be worth the extra dosh. But I will refer to what you will receive where applicable.
The rather large and sturdy presentation box was stuffed full of extras, including a mystery box in the bottom layer, I will cover that later as it doesn’t appear to be in the retail version.
So ignoring the mystery box, here’s the bundle I received, but here are the official release contents of the TPD kit:
- 1 x Armour Max Mod (Batteries not included)
- 1 x iTank 2 (2ml)
- 1 x 0.2ohm Mesh GTi Coil (60 - 75W)
- 1 x 0.4ohm Mesh GTi Coil (50 - 60W)
- 1 x Extra Glass Tube
- 1 x Tank Protective Cover
- 2 x O-Ring
- 1 x Refilling Silicone Plug
- 2 x 18650 Sleeve (Inside Mod)
- 1 x USB-C Cable
- 1 x User Manual & Warranty Card
- 1 x Safety Manual
- 1 x Reminder Card
First Impressions and Overview
Even limiting myself to the retail version, the Armour Max simply impressed me more than anything I have reviewed in the past year; I understand tastes are subjective but just look at it.
I think it looks amazing and very futuristic, there’s a lot going on with the styling which would be pointless with me describing it all, the photos really do the talking here, but it was an eye-feast as I first inspected it, better than that it was how it felt in the hand and that increased my interest.
It is the largest and heaviest kit I have tried from Vaporesso, a far-cry from their super-compact Target and Gen range, but it is clearly a different beast and has been designed that way. I like the way Vaporesso have dared to be different and are catering for a different buyer to their norm.
The front face has the most style as it has all the controls and screen, that rather large fire button also is a sliding lock which slides upwards to stop it from firing, it actually felt intuitive and quickly became habitual.
But going back to the main design feature; the ‘ARMOUR’ which is a mixture of metal and TPU all separated in numerous panels/components, I don’t recall a mod with so many different components before, that’s no bad thing as it brings a lot of style. The actual protections are aimed at toughness rather than waterproofing so it is more ‘drop-proof’ than anything.
(I loved Vaporesso’s tagline ‘ARMOURED TO THE TEETH’)
Since I am Instruction Manual Intolerant, I couldn’t find out how to open the battery door at first, eventually I found the release button on the back of the mod; that little directional button should have given me a clue, but anyway, you simply press that down and the battery door springs open.
You can either use 2 x 21700 or 2 x 18650 batteries, the 18650 battery adaptors are already inside the mod. I opted to use 21700s for a much longer battery life, and I preferred it to be even heavier.
The door press-clicks back into position and is very firm, the release button is also firm which should avoid accidental battery dumping.
I know a lot of users prefer to charge their mods stood upright, the Armour Max has you covered there. With the charge port towards the bottom, it makes it more stable too. It features separate balanced charging, I only did a quick test as I prefer to charge my batteries externally.
Weight wise; the Armour is a pie eater for sure. Even with 2 x 18650s and a full 8ml tank, it came in at 385g. As much as I like lightweight kits, I also love big and heavy kits too, so I shoved in 2 x 21700s to make it even heavier and I liked how substantial it felt.
The mod on its own without batteries only weighs 187g so most of the weight comes from the batteries/tank/e-liquid, but overall the Armour Max is big and heavy, and I like it for that.
The size is quite large and you can just about wrap your hand around it, but it feels more comfortable with a slightly open grip and using your thumb to fire it. It also feels more intuitive that way as the locking button is easier to slide with your thumb.
I already loved the mod, and the tank impressed me even more, I would buy this tank even if the mod wasn’t available. That 8ml capacity with the bubble glass is impressive, but one of the highlights for me is that glass protection sleeve. Usually I HATE silicone glass covers, they always look tacky and cheapen the looks, but this one is exceptional. I don’t know what it is made from but it is slightly flexible so you can slide it off, it has a nice metallic finish which matches the mod. The styling is so good too, making it the first glass sleeve I actually like.
It strips down nice and easy by unscrewing the base off, the coil is a press fit and doesn’t require lining up.
The coil is slightly fiddly to remove as there’s not much sticking out to grab hold of, a key or coin comes in handy for this. The glass pulls off downwards and the sleeve comes off with a bit of wiggling, once apart it is easy to clean.
Sorry to tease, but this is the tank bundle in the pack I received, I am assuming Vaporesso will at least sell these as extras if the full pack isn’t released, but it also gives you an idea of what the 2ml TPD one will look like with the straight glass and sleeve on the Left.
A huge improvement over the iTank (1) is the top-fill, the old one was a slide top and was a bit restrictive to slip your tip in (fnarr fnarr), but the iTank 2 has a spring loaded swivel top which swings open a full 180 degrees, and boy does it spring! You press the little button marked in red and it swings open with a strong force, it feels superb and is very good quality, it puts those Smok ones to shame. I was able to fill it up a lot easier than the original.
It takes the same GTi coils as the iTank 1 :
- GTi 0.15ohm mesh coil: 75 - 90W (Best: 85W)
- GTi 0.2ohm mesh coil: 60 - 75W (Best: 65W)
- GTi 0.4ohm mesh coil: 50 - 60W (Best: 55W)
- GTi 0.5ohm mesh coil: 30 - 40W (Best: 35W)
But you get these two in the kit:
- 1 x 0.2ohm Mesh GTi Coil (60 - 75W)
- 1 x 0.4ohm Mesh GTi Coil (50 - 60W)
This surprised me a little as the Armour Max would handle the 0.15ohm easily for the maximum cloud lobbing, but at least the option is there.
Oh boy! I have my work cut out here as the Armour Max is packed full of functions and features all of Vaporesso’s innovations such as PULSE, F(t) and Smart, and pleasingly they have included TC (Temperature Control) too
I will cover the basics rather than make this already long-winded review even windier.
- 5 x FIRE = Turns device On/Off
- Slide FIRE Up/Down = Lock/Unlock Fire Button (adjustment buttons still work)
- 3 x FIRE = Enters Top Menu (Up or Down buttons to navigate, FIRE to confirm)
- Press & Hold Up/Down = Locks All (Wont fire or adjust)
- Press FIRE & Down together = Selects SMART On/Off
- Press ALL Buttons = Displays hardware information
- Press Up & Down & Up & Down = The Venga Bus Is Coming
There are various submenus and settings to explore, but the little instruction manual is VERY easy to follow with no confusing babble (unlike my reviews).
But for me, I only use F(t) and SMART with Vaporesso’s stock coils. Vaporesso are pretty smart when it comes down to the optimal vape settings and a combination of these two will give you a superb flavour and performance without needing to adjust anything. But you can adjust a ruck of settings if you choose to, TC alone has a lot of options (but avoid TC for stock coils).
I’ve already experienced the GTi coils in the old iTank so I already knew I was going to get a damn good vape, but somehow this felt better. I can’t put my finger on it but the main difference was the airflow, wide open you get a very airy draw. I prefer to close it off a little to get a warmer and more flavourful draw.
It has been a while since I last tried them though, so Vaporesso might have upgraded the coils along the way, but either way, I was well chuffed with it, great mod, great tank, and a great vape made it a great package and I bloody loved using this Armour Max kit.
For the sake of the review, I played around with various settings and pushed the coils up to their top levels but I simply found that Smart and F(t) together just hit the spot and gave me the best coil lifespan. All I needed to do was dial in my preferred airflow and vape away.
This makes it an ideal kit for beginners, and all the functionality makes it ideal for experienced vapers too. I didn’t test out the TC mode, but Vaporesso usually get that right and I trust them.
Coil wise, the 0.2ohm was easily the best option for this kit, it gave plenty of flavour and quite high vapour production at 70 watts. The 0.4ohm coil was also superb for flavour but gave lower vapour production, and it felt a bit odd using a dual 21700 mod at 55 watts.
Since I had some 0.15ohm GTi coils, I ended up using those after I finished reviewing and I was in my element, 85 watts and smoke machine foggy room!
Vaporesso also sent the Army Green version which appealed to the ex-soldier in me, but I would have been bollocked for giving our position away to the enemy with the clouds!
This brings me onto the mystery box. I really hope Vaporesso release this as an accessory you can buy, it was a custom made Armour Max pouch.
I’m easily pleased so this tipped me over the edge with the Armour Max kit, the actual pouch is total overkill with all its hoops and loops but you can mount it where you like, belt, backpack etc.
I ended up using it on my belt and swung around to my hip so it was generally out of view as I didn’t want to look like a tit, but I found it very handy as it felt a bit bulky in my pockets.
So, it all seems very Rambo and macho in Army Green, but the Orange version almost felt like a different kit and was a bit classier, I loved them both for different reasons.
Battery life was ridiculous when using 21700s, two days of heavy use with the 0.2ohm coil and almost three days with the 0.4ohm coil, even longer if you use the ECO mode.
Vaporesso must have loved developing the Armour Max kit, it is so unusual for them and is a welcome variation from their usual compact/lightweight kits. With Vaporesso’s superb AXON chipset, the improved iTank, and that outstanding futuristic design, they should be very proud of this product.
Personally the Armour Max has been a breath of fresh vapour, I’m all podded out these days. Don’t get me wrong, the recent pods have been superb but they are never as enjoyable as a full blown cloud lobbing proper DL kit. I loved the Armour Max from start to finish and it goes down as one of my all-time favourites. I have nothing like this in my vast collection.
- Dual 21700s (or 18650)
- Vaporesso’s GTi coils are all superb
- Coil lifespan
- Stunning futuristic styling
- Rugged ‘armour’
- Functionality for new and advanced vapers
- Improved iTank is worthy of a separate purchase
- Glass protection sleeve is superb
- Dual lock
- It’s not a pod
- Style may not be for everyone ( but I love it!)
Final Thoughts and Score
Vaporesso have dared to be different with the Armour Max and they have pulled it off perfectly. If you are looking for a skinny lightweight kit, then this one’s not for you, but if you like chunky, sturdy and substantial kits, then this is one of the very best, and will be a real treat for proper DL vaping enthusiasts.
Score: 9/10 – Amore Armour
A big thank you to Vaporesso for the highlight kit of the year so far!